For as long as there have been stories, there have been myths about large, strange creatures that lurk in the deep sea. Most of them are make-believe (despite how realistic they may look on camera). But sometimes there are huge, strange and terrifying creatures that you can actually encounter.
This is an ocean sunfish. They're the winners of the "largest bony fish" category, can grow more than 10 feet tall and can weigh around 5,000 lbs. These divers recently caught this huge beast on video.
Also known as common mola (or mola mola), these gentle giants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you see one in the ocean, there's no need to be scared. They mostly only eat jellyfish, though they've been known to indulge in some squid, crustaceans, and smaller fish.
Their strange body structure comes as a result of years of evolution, during which it eventually lots its tail (caudal) fin and now only has dorsal and anal fins to get around. The lump on the back remains where the fin once was and is used as a rudder. It gives them a strange, flat, and overall ominous appearance.
If they look like something out of a science fiction show, that could be because their shape is very similar to the spaceship from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And, like the spaceship, it's filled with a lot of personality.
Sunfish are somewhat difficult to capture (due to their obvious size), though that has not stopped humans for a long time. A few can be found in captivity (especially in Japan) and people even cook and serve the fish as a delicacy. But beware if you ever see it on the menu, because ”” according to legend ”” it can be bad luck to eat them.
So next time you're out diving and see something this large and strange coming towards you, no need to be scared (even though that seems to be the face they're permanently stuck with). You're simply being graced with a friendly mola mola guest who (if you're lucky) might stop and pose for some pictures.